Monday, August 10, 2009

Pie, Two Movies, and Lightning

This was one of those rare weekends that felt longer than it was. In a good way.

Friday saw me heading out of the office as quickly as possible. I got home with JUST enough time to finish a slab pie I'd started a couple days before. The filling and dough was done, it just had to be rolled out, combined, and baked. Oh, and the filling involved 2 cups of sour cherries, 2 cups of bing cherries, and two cups (total) of wild Nova Scotia blueberries and frozen Ontario strawberries that I'd picked earlier in the summer.

It's pretty delicious.

Why the time limit? I had a movie to go see - GI Joe.

Yup, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, on opening night. Why? Well, if you have to ask, you didn't sit 3ft in front of your TV after school waiting for that theme song in your youth.

I went in properly prepared. My brain was sitting in a jar back home. I wanted two things - red and blue lasers, and someone to say "Yo Joe!". Both wishes were fulfilled.

I suggested to my friends at dinner beforehand that the movie would be awesome. It wouldn't be a GOOD movie by any stretch, but it would be awesome.

And it was. I ignored anything like dialogue, editing, physics, or reality, and enjoyed two hours of straight up action and ass-kicking. It was an EXCELLENT GI Joe movie. Any critic who calls it crap was already old when the cartoons were on. Their GI Joe memories are of 9" tall solider dolls, not 5" action figures whose torsos you twisted until they popped off. Sommers did exactly what was needed - he made a popcorn flick that was nothing but FUN. Plot getting in the way of the movie? Throw in a ninja fight. Just had a ninja fight? More cleavage. The ninjas were fighting in front of cleavage? Time to blow some shit up. Ninjas were fighting in front of cleavage during an explosion? Blow up a polar ice cap, or melt a landmark.

And there is no doubt a sequel is being made.

I tire of those who hold their 80's television memories as sacrosanct - go and find some video of those shows. They were, almost universally, TERRIBLE. To expect a movie based on them to be a work of art is ridiculous.

Early to bed (3am-ish) and early to rise (3pm-ish) makes a man... well, very well-rested. 3pm was about as late as I COULD stay in bed, as a buddy was coming over at 6 to grab some dinner and catch another movie. This time? The Hangover. Yah, I'm late to the game on this one, but... DAMN is that one funny movie.

I fired off the e-mail on Friday to my usual December Vegas posse (or entourage, or what have you) about getting this year's trip ready. Seeing the start of Vegas in The Hangover had me turn to my friend and say "I want to go NOW." By the end of the movie, E was a bit afraid I'd developed a few new ideas for this year's trip. He's so ending up in the hands of Asian gangsters.

Another early night (3am) led to another early day (12:45pm due to a phone call). Sunday was chill. Hung out, played poker, watched TV, made dinner.

And watched one hell of a lightning storm.

I had originally been awaken around 10:30am by room-shaking bursts of thunder. I fell back asleep, and when I was up for real, the day looked fine. By the time I was making dinner, the skies were alight again. Flashes in the periphery followed by the sound of the sky cracking open. Another truly monumental summer storm was upon us. Regular breaks from pizza assembly were taken to try and catch a fork in the distance between the surrounding buildings. It started to die down, and dinner was completed and consumed.

Then it started up again. To the roof! In my bare feet! Why? Well, I figured the wet roof of a 15 storey building with no insulator between me and ground had to be the safest method of watching lightning. An umbrella was brought too, for extra safety.

None of that is a lie, except for the part where I actually thought ANY of that was remotely safe.

As soon as I set foot on the roof, a bolt shot off in the distance, sparking a series of other streaks spiderwebbing across the sky above. It was possibly the coolest lightning display I'd ever seen.

And it happened half a dozen more times over the next 20 minutes.

The sky didn't stop lighting up. It was as if the country surrounding my city was being bombed while a war with electricity was being fought overhead. The nearly complete lack of rain only added to this effect. To witness such a violent storm without getting wet was an oddity to me.

Convinced the storm was too far to take advantage of the world's tallest free-standing lightning rod, I kept following where the flashes were.

Then the tree of electricity opened up over south end of the city, with a branch deciding it needed to arc down and nail the beloved tower. For seconds afterwards, the sky was scattered with the after-image of lightning forks as my eyes adjusted to the blinding white that had just taken place less than a mile away, and less than a mile up. The fact this was also the first clap of thunder that had been made during the roof foray drove home the point that the storm wasn't quite gone yet.

The sky continued to sputter and spark silently, and I continued to be captivated. After the Tower bolt, I was also constantly checking the hairs on my arms to make sure I wasn't about to be struck myself. In the distance, likely the steel mills of Hamilton, bolts were raining down as if Zeus had decided that he was on the side of the NHL owners and was going to destroy the city himself. Streaks yellowed by the smog and clouds would strike and remain for what seemed like seconds before disappearing. To the south, St. Catherine's, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo looked like they were getting bombarded with white fire.

Eventually, it started to fade. The streaks and forks became fewer, replaced only with flashes and sheets of brightness in the distance. It was time to return to the far less exciting world of my living room, and call it a weekend.

May I suggest you visit here for an idea of the view. He's a little bit east of me, so it's not a dissimilar view. And this was a regular occurence during my time on the roof. I only wish I'd have grabbed my tripod and camera too.


Memphis MOJO said...

I would have loved to see the lightning display.

"I went in properly prepared. My brain was sitting in a jar back home."


SirFWALGMan said...

Greatest American Hero's baby! haha! I loved that show. Especially the ninja's.